Falafel- I spied it straight away as I was lead into the Jungle. The sign that lifted me out of the temporary depression from the night before, which had lead me to several different take-aways only to end up with chips, again. Where was the falafel? Luckily, the Jungle had the answer.
I made a mental note to return to the restaurant as soon as possible and get me one of those. I’d save it for a rainy day.
Me and my esteemed colleague were in Calais for a couple of weeks to do some voluntary work in the refugee camp, which currently holds 9000 people and rising. And to have a nice li’l holiday of course, practise the ol’ French and get some rays. And naturally, to give the opportunity to do a French falafel review, which has left a gaping hole in our reviewing history.
We were updated on recent events in Calais, including several deaths in recent weeks, raids on shops on restaurants and tear gas attacks. The police came daily to arrest shop keepers and restaurant owners, to steal their food and money and to smash their stuff up. They even trashed the children’s restaurant, where free food is distributed for children while they do activities and have lessons. They literally stole food from hungry children.
But for the first few days, we saw none of this. Until the 3rd day, when the police started tear gassing us at night, when all the charities had locked up for the night and gone home. After this, started the daily raids. Sometimes they came twice. There was a court case coming up, where it would decide whether the police had permission to tear down the shops and restaurants or not. No one was hopeful. Plans were made.
A rainy day came. Several actually, it rained all day. Our shelter leaked. It was time to get a falafel. I’d had a few plates of Afghan chickpeas and beans, which had been amazing, so I had high hopes for the falafel.
As usual, I was bitterly disappointed. The restaurant no longer existed! Gone was the sign advertising falafel. Instead, a bare walled empty restaurant stared back at me. Had I IMAGINED IT? A quick chat with my colleague confirmed it had actually existed, until just days before.
Foiled again. Calais would let me down once more. Falafel the police! A friend did invite us over to his lovely star themed abode and he made us delicious hummus, which did something to lessen the pain. And, in a surprising turn of events, the police LOST the court case, and they are not going to demolish them! But that doesn’t mean they won’t be forced into being used as something else and still have their businesses ruined. We shall see. Still, a victory to beat the police in ANYTHING is good in France, in Calais, in the Jungle. But, they destroyed my chance of A FALAFEL IN FRANCE, for which I WILL NEVER FORGIVE THEM. ACAB for ever. Signed, A furious falafel- hunter in France.